Tue. 12/17 - Alexa Is A Hit, But Is It A Business?
Welcome to the tag name right home for Tuesday December Seventeenth Twenty nineteen. I'm Brian McCullough. Today more reported casualties in the Google civil war more strife between Amazon and FEDEX CAN Amazon turn Alexa into a healthy ecosystem or not developers. Let's get busy on. Edge extensions and the top APPS of the decade. Have one big thing in common. Here's what you missed today. In the world of tech well now a fifth Google employee says she has been fired from Google for what she claims was was labor organizing related activities until recently Katherine Spears worked on the chrome security team and she says she no longer does so because because she added a pop up to an internal browser informing her fellow employees of their labor rights quoting and gadget in a post on medium. Spears says that Google was recently forced to publish a list by the NFL are be internally outlining the rights its employees have and in order to ensure that all affected employees knew about it. Spears added a pop up notification to the company's internal chrome browser. Apparently this is common practice inside the company allowing people to share share hobbies or interests with their co workers in response to a request for comment a Google spokesperson said that it had quote dismissed an employee who abused privileged access to modify an internal security tool. This was a serious violation and quote. The company added that Spears apparently circumvented safeguards including including getting authorization from a superior and asking direct colleagues for Code Review. In addition Google says that it would have taken similar action for any pop up added to the browser even ingest a similarly worded email from Royal Hanson. Google vice president was sent to colleagues covering the company's actions quote when I heard that Google had had hired a union busting firm and started illegally retaliating against my coworkers rates spears on medium. I decided to make sure that my co workers knew about about the list and quote spears referring to Google's recent hiring of irs consultants a company described by the New York Times as an quote Anti Union consulting firm and quote when Google Employees visited irs website or the internal guidelines. A pop-up would read quote googles. Have the right to participate in protected concerted activities and quote like the previous employees. who were fired by Google? The so-called Thanksgiving four. She is filing unfair labor practice charges with with the NLRB however in his email to employees Google vp. Hanson wrote quote. I want to be very clear. The issue was not that the messaging had had to do with the NFL. Rb Notice or workers rights. The decision would have been the same had a pop up. Message been on any other subjects and quote Hot on the heels of yesterday's story about Amazon shipping half of its own stuff. The Wall Street Journal is reporting. That Amazon is blocking marketplace marketplace sellers from using Fedex ground for prime shipments citing a decline in delivery performance quoting from the journal the ban on using Fedex XS ground and home services starts this week and will last quote until the delivery performance of those ship. Methods improves and quote according to an email L. Amazon's sent Sunday to merchants that was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal Amazon has stopped using Fedex for its own deliveries in the US but third party merchants still had been able to use Fedex such sellers now account for more than half of the merchandise sold on Amazon's website including many items listed as eligible for prime. That said the decision impacts a small number of shippers but quote limits the options for those small businesses on some of the highest shipping days in history and quote. The carrier said it it still expects to handle a record number of packages this holiday season quote. The overall impact to our business is minuscule. Fedex spokeswoman said in Amazon spokesman Man said the policy change is to ensure customers receive their packages on time and the e commerce company is managing delivery cutoffs. So that orders arrived by Christmas. He said the ban is is temporary and will be lifted once Fedex service levels improve and quote and staying on Amazon for a second for all all the ways that Alexa has been a home. Run hit could it be. That Amazon is struggling to turn Alexa And the ecosystem into an actual home run business. The information is reporting that Amazon only saw revenue of one point four million with an m dollars from Alexa in skill purchases in the first ten months of two thousand nineteen which would be well short of its own target of five point five million dollars and this news of course comes on the heels of the much reported fact that apparently shopping for things to be a voice hasn't exactly taken off anywhere. It should also be noted that Amazon takes the usual seventy thirty revenue share that digital platforms and stores often take so you can extrapolate the overall ecosystem for money-making Alexa skills from that according voice spot Ai. This arrangement suggests that Amazon expected total Alexis skill. ISP revenue to exceed eighteen million dollars in the first ten months. That's a twenty thousand nine hundred but the actual revenue was closer to four point. Seven million dollars Amazon significantly increased its marketing of ISP to Alexa skill developers. In two thousand nineteen. It is not clear. If the shortfall was the result of too few developers participating in the program lack of consumer interest in the offers or some combination of both however Amazon also began curtailing. Its developer rewards program earlier this year which currently provides a pool of funds for developers with Popular Alexa skills that it pays out monthly. Some developers receiving over ten thousand dollars per month from this program and many have seen payouts dropped by more than fifty percent since the beginning of twenty nineteen unquote and quoting from the original information. Peace within Amazon. The company is batting around various ideas to increase revenues from its devices including some that take advantage of its expanding expanding line of ECO show products which have screens Amazon could nudge users towards skills. They may find more helpful and premium content. The two people familiar with the matter said well. More specific parts of its plan couldn't be learned. The company could attempt to take a cut from subscription video services that echo show users sign up for through the devices another idea that company has discussed partnering with The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to share in the revenue from subscriptions purchased using Alexa. One of those people said a person close to the Journal said the Amazon has not approached it with such a proposal. Amazon recently held talks with spotify about sharing in the advertising revenue from spotify free advertising supported music service when it is streamed through Alexa devices to people familiar with the matter. said one of those people said part of Amazon's pitch to spotify was that it could take over the selling of ad inventory on on the service and better targeted ads to users. The talks didn't move forward. According to the other person and quote Microsoft is officially opening up the Microsoft Edge. Add On's store for submissions from developers ahead of chrome edges launch in January. DEB's can submit through the partner center developer Dashboard. And don't worry any existing chromium extensions can be migrated over automatically quoting wind buzzer developers. Developer can provide permission for Microsoft automatically. Migrate There Edge. HTML extensions to the chromium base. Those developers will see their Microsoft Edge add-ons in the store without needing needing to do anything and quote and for more specific details on the upcoming launch. Microsoft's own support. Doc say that the chromium based edged will be automatically rolled out to. PC's running the windows. Ten April twenty eighteen update or newer. Starting on January fifteenth the documentation Asian also suggests that users will not have the option to keep the old edge quoting windows latest to help our customers become more secure and up-to-date Microsoft doc will distribute Microsoft edge chrome based through automatic updates for windows ten S. four and newer. The company said while the consumers will be forced to try the new edge experience Microsoft says it will launch a blocker toolkit for organizations so administrators can control the installation of the new browser on configurations with automatic windows. Update tabled and quote the Tech Main. 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All of their research is public and free on their website and give well doesn't take a cut of the money that you contribute learn how much good your donation could do by visiting give well dot org slash ride home. First Time donors. We'll have their donations matched up to one thousand dollars if they donate through gift. If well dot org slash ride home again that's give well dot org slash ride home another end of the decade. Wrap up up for you quick. What do the top four most downloaded APPs of the decade? have in common. If you're listening to the show I assume you can. Yes yes they are all owned by facebook. The top four most downloaded apps worldwide from twenty ten through the end of this year where facebook Facebook Messenger. What's APP and then instagram little surprise? INSTAGRAM wasn't above. What's APP but then I always forget how essential what's APP is everywhere else in the world number five on the list snapchat followed by skype? Tick Tock is coming in strong at number seven then you see browser from Alibaba then youtube and finally twitter rounds up the top ten the most downloaded games of the decade. I'm not gonna read them all but the top five were subway surfers candy crush saga temple run two might talking top and clash of clans. Wait what is subway surfers. Apparently it's a game that is super popular in India. India top five overall APPs by consumer spend were net flicks tinder Pandora tencent video and line. spotify and Youtube are only numbers. Seven and eight on the overall consumer spend list. I can't and says it is GonNa Review the Public Internet registries controversial sale of the DOT org domain name system to ethos capital. Apparently apparently they have thirty days to officially okay or Knicks. The sale quoting from ars. Technica I can. The International Corporation for assigned names and numbers said last week that it sent requests for information to PR in order to determine whether the transfer should be allowed quote. I can't will thoroughly evaluate the responses and then I can have thirty additional days to provide or withhold consent to the request the organization said I can which is also a nonprofit previously told the financial title times that it does not have authority over the proposed acquisition making. It seemed like the sale was practically a done deal but even that earlier statement gave. I can hand some wiggle room. I can quote said its job was simply to assure the continued operation of the dot org domain implying that it could only stop the sale if the stability and security of the domain name infrastructure. Were at risk. The Financial Times wrote on November twenty eighth in its newer statement last week I can noted that the dot org registry agreements between PR and requires PR to quote obtain cans prior approval before any transaction that would result in a change of control of the registry the operator and quote the registry agreement. Let's I can request transaction details quote including information about the party acquiring control its ultimate parent entity and whether they meet the I can't adopted registry operator criteria as well as financial resources and operational and technical capabilities. I can noted I can't thirty day review period begins after. Pr provides those details and quote. Thanks all of you you for weighing in on the hundred million dollar a our companies really quickly the obvious answer to my request for a new name for these entities came in rather quickly on the sub Reddit Centaurs because sent of course is the Latin root for hundred but but I also like the idea of true corns true unicorns. Also Rhinos gotta shout and apparently quoting user. SWX On the spread it. Ah Jason Catholic. Kansas is pushing the term Pegasus. Horses that fly over rounds. Because they're doing so well and SUNA corns near Unicorns and quote though I did also like Aaron goats suggestion that we just Meld my dad joke from yesterday and call them send tars and not a few of you suggested that these companies should simply be known as viable businesses. Finally today. This is not exactly a tech story but I think it's nerdy enough. You won't mind some of. You might know Magnus Carlsen. He's a Norwegian chess grandmaster current world chess champion and trails. Only Gary Casper off in terms of the amount of time spent as the highest rated chess player in the world. Well guess what it seems that Magnus is good at fantasy football to US listeners. In case you weren't aware soccer has fantasy leagues as well. Mel and the English Premier League has a fantasy league that has more than seven million players. Well good old. Magnus Carlsen for a time. This week was also sitting atop first place. In the official premier league fantasy standings. He was number one at least until yesterday as Crystal Palace Slash Brighton match. At which point he dropped to number three quoting the Guardian. Carlson claims his success in fantasy football down to luck the chess champions team gel and KC finished among the top three thousand players in the two thousand seventeen twenty eighteen league following three other impressive seasons. It took Carlson just a six weeks to make it into the top one thousand this season and he has been mounting a charge for the top ever since asked to comment on his success. This season. Carlson sided added the data used by F pl players to track footballing form quote in fantasy football. I'm both an optimist and an OCTA missed. He told the Guardian in a one-line online email. Carlson like many Norwegians is obsessed with both the premier league and it's Fantasy League spin off in twenty seven eight players from Norway. Were in the top up fifty F. PL players in the world and quote so what could possibly account for skills from chess transferring over to fantasy sports. Lots lots of people are speculating that it comes down to memory. Good chess players can memorize moves and board positions in order to plot strategy. Several moves down the road and and friends claim that Carlson's memory for EPL stats is indeed prodigious. As indicated by him named Checking Octa the company known for Keeping Sports Stats. It's in soccer. Having said that as I'm sure a lot of you know fantasy sports ain't easy no matter how much you have stored in your brain in terms of stats my own own. FBI team is currently two point. Eight million positions behind Carlson's and among players in our mutant. PODCAST Army League made up of listeners to the show I am smack Dab in the Mid Table Thirteenth out of twenty five players congrats by the way to Eric the Silva whose number one in the Mutant podcast armie league is all dime. PC is sitting on one thousand and eleven points ranking sixty seven thousand in the world much better than my I own eight hundred and forty seven points and he didn't even have Mosala on his team this week though he does seem to have been writing Jamie Vardi through his recent hot streak. That's all for today. I've been reading things online all day. Actually all night right. That makes me think I guess I need to catch up on watchmen over the holidays next week because I dropped off after episode two but I didn't realize that that might just be a one off series. There might not even be a season two for some reason suddenly knowing that makes me really WANNA watch it. Seemed like a cool show it but I don't know I guess my heart that's stolen in the meantime by Mando Dr Tomorrow.